There are some great lines in Coulter’s Godless—great lines in the sense that you can scarcely believe someone was so stupid that they’d say them. Here’s one for the ladies and the life scientists here at scienceblogs.
Their grandiose self-conceptions to the contrary, the cult [the “evolution cult”] members are rarely scientists at all.
They aren’t scientists? Get ready for it: here’s the problem with those darned people who study evolution. They’re biologists and women.
They’re almost always biologists—the “science” with the greatest preponderance of women. The distaff MIT “scientist” who fled the room in response to Larry Summers’s remarks was, of course, a biologist. While I’m sure there have been groundbreaking discoveries about the internal digestive system of the earthworm, biologists are barely even scientists anymore. They’re classifiers, list-makers, like librarians with their Dewey decimal system. Except librarians don’t claim the Dewey decimal system holds the Rosetta Stone to the universe. There were once great biologists, but the morally vacuous ones began to promote their own at the universities. It was sort of intelligently designed devolution. Like Marxists gradually dominating the comp lit department, biologists will only be given tenure today if they foreswear any doubts about the evolution pseudoscience. Consequently, “biologist” almost always means “evolutionary biologist,” which is something like an “ESP biologist.”
Seriously, you don’t need to read the book—the whole thing has this tone of clueless, outraged derangement.
- It’s awfully silly to say biology isn’t a science. The stamp-collecting argument is so 19th century.
- So, ummm, who is supposed to study the evolution of life, if not the biologists? Astronomers? Civil engineers? Accountants? I think that if we drafted a physicist and put her to work on the problem of evolution, she’d have to bone up on the literature and start publishing in biology journals, and everyone would start calling her a biologist anyway.
- Yes, lots of women are in biology, and more are joining all the time. Biology is hot—there’s lots of growth and excitement in the field, we’re making great strides, yadda yadda yadda. Why shouldn’t women flock to a promising discipline of science?
- So what’s wrong with being a woman? They aren’t all as stupid as Coulter.
- I notice that Nancy Hopkins, the MIT scientist (she studies zebrafish molecular genetics, by the way), is still at MIT. Larry Summers is no longer at Harvard. Who was tougher?
- Where once you might get away with calling taxonomists “list-makers,” even that isn’t true anymore. Systematics has gotten complex, requiring a fairly extensive set of analytical skills to do well. As for other biologists…well, I don’t think Coulter has ever cracked a biology book, so what does she know?
- I guess Coulter doesn’t have much respect for librarians, either.
- Could we get a list of the morally vacuous biologists now populating American universities? I’d like to invite them to a party and show those comp lit poseurs who the really wild degenerates are.
- If Coulter ever gets cancer or the flu or needs surgery, I think she should insist on a doctor with no training in biology. Understanding cell biology or physiology are such useless bits of knowledge, don’t you know.
- The sneering contempt for pure research and basic biology is typical of the modern short-sighted conservative. What doesn’t make her a buck right now is useless.
- It’s true that “biologist” almost always means “evolutionary biologist,” in very general terms. That’s because evolution is pervasively useful in every sub-discipline. We got this way not because we swore an oath, but because evolution works. The filter is for competence, not ideology…another concept a right-wing ranter wouldn’t understand.